The last post for 2020

2020. What a year. So much has happened…so much also …didn’t happen. So this is going to be a bit of reflection of what happened in 2020 to me. The good. The bad. The sad. The happy. The whatever.

  1. Feb 2020: I finally fulfilled my dream of travelling to New Zealand for a trip! It was an awesome trip in which I caught up with my good friend living in Brisbane…we did a lot of hiking, horse riding, running, and also went on a boat trip! New Zealand is such a beautiful place and I would highly recommend it. I am also extremely lucky that I was able to go overseas before the borders to Australia has closed.
  2. March 2020: I finally saw my ALL time favourite band, ONE OK ROCK. Having missed out on seeing them when I was in Japan for exchange, I can finally say I have been to my second J-Rock concert. However, this time I actually knew and could sing a long with their songs! I also paid for the VIP tickets and also got to meet them, exchange a few words, and get my photo with them. The night was surreal and it was a great memory I will treasure for many years to come.
  3. Later in March 2020: The lockdown of Australia began as the Coronavirus made it way uninvited into all of our lives. You couldn’t escape it. No matter how hard you try to close your eyes….everyone was talking about it, the supermarket shelves were bare with no toilet paper or hand sanitiser to be seen. Gyms, pools, indoor/outdoor sports, cinemas, schools, universities, and shops, restaurants were closed for dine in. Social distancing was the new norm, everyday we were wiping all the surfaces we touched…everyday I would follow religiously the numbers, the tallies, the hotspots…what rules were changing…The hardest part of all was not being able to see my family and friends…I wasn’t able to see my nephew for the longest time and I was so worried he would forget who I was… It was also during this time that I began spending a lot more time with my family that still lived at home. Yes, we got on each others nerves at some stage…but because there was no where to go and nothing to do, we were just at home. My mum began planting and gardening more and more flowers, fruits, and vegetables…I began learning how to work out at home…For my brother and dad, nothing changed much for them…They usually just stay at home anyways. Skype calls were the best, and I am so grateful for technology that keeps us together, but nothing beats the ability to spend time in person with people.
  4. June 2020. The rules has started to relax in South Austraila. We were finally allowed to have up to 10 visitors in our homes! That meant we were able to gather as a family again and to eat out in restaurants with friends! This was the 1st birthday of my nephew…unfortunately because of the restrictions, my sister only invited the immediate family to celebrate….then they broadcasted it live to their other friends via zoom. My little nephew was sooo spoilt with soo many gifts from family and friends! He got Gucci branded shoes, a small ride on Mercedes, and sooo many toys. June was also the month that I found out that my full-time contract job was not going to be renewed…It was not entirely unexpected, but still a shock to hear it. It meant I had to job hunt all over again…and during a pandemic, that was depressing and a very stressful time…there was not much up for grabs in Adelaide in terms of Hospital Pharmacist positions, so I widened my applications to interstate hospitals. I had 3 sets of interviews for a position in Melbourne and that how I ended up where I am now!
  5. July 2020: I found out that I got the job in Melbourne and I would have to start planning my move…Where was I going to stay? Can I even go there during the pandemic? My aunty and uncle helped me immensely in looking for suitable places that I would inspect when I got there. I also had friends help me plan the trip to Melbourne and what I needed to do to make sure my car was okay. Then there was catchup after catchup with all the people I would be seeing for who knows how long? It was more like a one way trip at this stage…once I went to Melbourne, Adelaide would close it’s borders to me…they would see me as an outsider…I wasn’t sure when I would be able to see my family again…This was a really sad realisation and something that made me so anxious and sad. I would be heading to the city which was undergoing the second wave of Coronavirus…and was in stage 4 lockdown, a curfew, and mandatory masks everywhere. I was going into a virus striken city and working in one of their hospitals that have Covid- positive patients…as someone who hates germs, it was a big risk. Saying good bye to my family was the hardest thing, especially my sister whom I am closest with…I hadn’t cried at all at any of my other farewells, but saying goodbye to my sister for the last time was so hard.
  6. August 2020: I made the long ass drive with my car full of lugguage, toilet paper, and stuff to Melbourne. I was not welcomed with any police or officers at the borders, but it wasn’t the same the other way round. South Australia was quite strict with who was able to enter their state…Melbourne however, didn’t give a hoot and still doesn’t. After staying with my aunt for a few days, I found a place pretty quick and moved in on the same week. Then began the journey of living solo and managing to not live in a pigsty. I had to figure out what I needed and what I wanted…money didn’t grow on trees unfortunately… Then I started working at my new job and that was incredibly tough at first because of all the competency standards that I had to meet to prove I was worthy as a pharmacist.
  7. August-October: So basically nothing happened. I may have took Gamsat…but other than that I rarely went out. I think the lockdown was still ongoing, so there was no house visitors allowed and everything was Click and Collect or buy online. I think I did a lot of cooking…and buying stuff for my house. The video calls with my family and friends in Adelaide continued…We did group chats, group games, and I played ‘Amongst Us’ Once… lol…. I also did a seminar entirely online at home for work…that was interesting, but also made me extremely sleepy.
  8. Nov 2020: Somehow we managed to have 60 days free from Community Transmitted Covid- Cases! The city slowly opened up and restrictions eased in a gradual step by step process. Restaurants were finally open for dine in, but for limited numbers…Retail shops were allowed to open again! Gyms, schools, universities…and most importantly BADMINTON RESTARTED!!!! This is what I missed most (Asides from family and friends in Adelaide)!! Was the desire to hit a shuttlecock! I write this as my whole body hurts from a great baddy session yesterday night….
  9. Dec 2020: My sister messaged me and told she was coming to Melbourne and that we should catchup !! I was so excited!! I wasn’t sure if I was able to go back to Adelaide as they have stricter border than Melbourne, but if my sister could come and go back, surely I would be able to? In the heat of the moment I quickly looked up how much flights would be to Adelaide and back…and it was pretty reasonable! Then I remembered I have a whole bunch of Frequent Flyer Points which I was hoping to use to go to England (dreams crushed this year) and I used those points to pay for the return fare in its entirety! It also included checked baggage both ways! BONUS! I was so happy that I was able to come back home to Adelaide and spend Christmas with my family and to see some of my friends! It was a rushed 4 days…as I hadn’t booked any extra leave I was only there over the public holiday and weekend. Adelaide itself hadn’t changed much, but the people had changed…a bit. Since I left, a friend had a baby, another friend told me she is moving to Brisbane for a new job, two friends had broken up with the long-term partners, and I think that is it?
  10. Dec 31st 2020: The last day of the year 2020, I slept in! Because…I can :)! I had a day off today! It was an accrued day off that just happened to land on the last day of the year. Lucky me! I met up with my sister and her family for lunch and did a bit of window shopping in Melbourne city. A friend told me about a special Free parking voucher that could be displayed to park for free in Melbourne city…Then I came home, cooked the last meal of 2020, and did my last round of laundry for 2020…had my last shower, called my mum for the lastst time, emptied the trash for the laste time, and now I am typing the blog entry for 2020 on here. So many last times for everything. Oh, did I mention that the annual firework display for NYE has been cancelled for both Mellbourne and Adelaide? The Sydney famous ones are still going ahead, however they will not allow people to watch it from the shore. Also, sadly in the last few days we got a few cases of local transmission and now we have some restrictions reinposed, i.e. maximum 15 people in a house at one time…so the Family New Years Lunch is cancelled for tomorrow sadly…

    Happy New Year everyone! Let’s hope fingers crossed that 2021 will be a better one!! Stay Safe, Wash your hands, stay 1.5 metres a part, and wear your mask!

The last week begins…

One week left in Adelaide.

Hmm. Times flies when you realise it is finite and not unlimited.

I had an adventurous week and I did a lot of things within then I normally would.

Caught up with old work colleagues, family, lots of badminton, gym…and even traveled to a few places I haven’t been before! I went to a small rural town about 2.5 hours drive away from Adelaide, called Port-Pirie. As I have a friend that is a pilot, we hired a small aircraft and flew there…I have never been in a small aircraft before and it was definitely a really exciting experience. I was so surprised that the landings and take offs were so much smoother and faster than I expected!

The view from up in the sky is amazing and despite having an awesome new phone camera, it doesn’t seem to do it justice. Somethings in life you just have to experience it first-hand yourself! We flew over the famous Pink Salt Lake, which kinda looked more brown than pink to me.. (It was my first time to see it)…

We had about 2.6 hours in the air…I even got to fly for a bit…While exciting at first..it is a bit more tiring than steering a car. Once we landed in Port-Pirie, we booked a cab to take us to town and we enjoyed some lunch at a place called Safavia . This is where we both tried something called a ‘Chicken Stack’…which is basically chicken with a quiche and some bacon stacked on top of it.

Post lunch we had a bit of a walk around town…there wasn’t a whole lot to do…but thee was a small museum, which looked deserted. We also walked passed a real estate sop and boy is it it a cheap!! You can get a 3 bedroom house with lots of land for well under 100,000k! To put that into perspective, a house of that size would easily be 6 or 7 times that amount in Metropolitan Adelaide.

We then walked around the railway and to a small jetty, took some photos…then it was time to head back to the aircraft in the cab.

I flew some more on the way back. It was a good experience.

Yesterday, I caught up with some old work mates in a place called Plant 4 Bowden- which as its name suggests, has many plants for sale…It also had many cool looking shops and little eateries. I wish I had discovered this little gem earlier! I have been living in Adelaide for so long, yet I have never been.

It’s funny how you only finally start to explore and enjoy somewhere when you know you are leaving.

 

Will I miss Adelaide?

I have been thinking lately…this might be the last time I go here, do this, see this person. Is the only way I will miss Adelaide is by leaving?

I took a good long look at my backyard and I remembered all the memories that I have had in my childhood…it feels really surreal that I am leaving soon.

I will miss playing badminton with my friends for sure. I am scared and afraid of trying to make new friends in a new city :(.

I am going to have to learn how to cook for myself. Eek…I hope that I won’t starve…

I am going to miss eating out in Adelaide, especially eating out..gymming…since Melbourne is locked down at the moment due to Covid.

How to be comfortable #forever alone

There are going to be times where you will be alone, whether driving to work, going on work vacations or if you don’t know anyone in a social situation…or even during Covid lockdowns. I think it is always useful to have something to do in case you have time to kill and don’t want to waste it.

1. Have a piece of technology with you at all times…most likely at least your phone…so you can use it to surf the internet, use social media, or write ideas for future blog posts…

2. Have a book to read…Whether a light novel, autobiography or whatever. It is perfectly acceptable to sit somewhere to read, you would less uncomfortable with a book than without. Can even read manga or ebooks from your phone like Webtoons! Or listen to books being read out loud on Audiobooks etc.

3. Have some good music to listen to. Emo music is great.

4. Get a pet. Dog, cat, fish, or turtle etc. Even plushie or bolster is fine. xD. Anything you can cuddle really….

5. Learn how to play an instrument..but don’t spend too much on your first instrument xD you can learn from Youtube videos.

6. Just learn to love yourself and to love the friends and family around you. You can do this with the help of Apps, self-health books, psychological services, or just spending time on yourself.

7. Maybe get a plant? But only if you can keep it alive, nothing is more depressing than a dead plant in the house :(.

8. Watch online streamers or even start streaming yourself! Maybe a good way to connect with other people or make new friends.

9. Get into the stock or share market!! Why not use all that spare time you have being single and grow your investment portfolio and become a bit more well off than you are now. Also look into your Super Fund and see if they are really growing your supperannuation for you or is it time to choose a different option for yourself.

10. Work out and get yourself the best body you can have! Go to the gym as much as you can, get fit, and get healthy..or play a sport, like badminton!! I guess this is good for making friends and socialising as such, if your area let’s you go back to indoor spoorts that is.

I am guessing the reality of these things I listed is because when you DO eventually get into a relationship, you most likely will have less time to yourself and to do what you want. Why not make the most of this single prime time and make it your time..

-#Foreveralone

Pandemic Ponderings

Just reflecting on how life is changing in the last few days have made me realise how much I have changed during this pandemic. Prior to the pandemic which led to a toilet paper shortage in Australia, I have never tried using a flushable toilet wipe. I have always been a plain jane toilet paper user…I am not even game to use those fancy bidet toilets in Japan…I’ve just been a big toilet paper fan (till now). However, this pandemic has made me discover the wonders and the satisfaction of using a flushable wipe, especially after a heavy meal (if you know you know).

Since toilet paper has been back on shelves, for some ODD REASON I can’t find the flushable wipes as easily in the supermarkets anymore! I am hooked! But, obviously, the supermarket may have decreased buying the wipes since toilet paper is back. Instead of the toilet paper hunt, I am not hunting for these sacred flushable wipes. Oh so expensive, but as it says on the box, ‘Leaves you feeling Shower-Fresh’. If you haven’t tried it before, you really should get your hands on some and then you will understand what I mean. Contrary to some people’s fears, I don’t believe they block the toilet drain, I could be wrong but they are supposed to ‘disperse’ in water somehow.

Another pondering that I have, is whether or not I still need my gym membership!?! I have my own yoga mat now and I have cleared out enough space in my room to do exercise AND cleared enough photos from my mirror to be able to see through it. It’s so comfortable and easy to work out from home with Blogpilates or some other Youtube Instructor… I feel like life is going to start changing back to how it was and I feel like it will take time to adjust to ANOTHER new normal again…

Though I miss seeing my friends at badminton gatherings, to be honest. Not much has changed, I didn’t go out much before and I don’t go out now. BUT I guess during the pandemic, there is less FOMO for me because everyone else is staying in too. HAHA? In a way, it’s a plus.

I am going to be taking my first exam online through a Proctor Website which is going to be exciting and scary…but a new experience none the less.

I have also confirmed that indeed my thumb is not green and is probably black. The seedling that I planted in my front garden, has not been able to sprout! I think it possibly has died!?!?  Ohwell, at least I tried. A for Effort.

I have learnt that there are many more shops I can avoid going into, by shopping online and taking advantage of their FREE SHIPPING!! Many websites have lowered minimum buy to qualify for free shipping!! I just feel like it saves a lot of time, rather than going into a shop and realising they don’t have what you want..!

I’ve also had a few phone calls from the GP instead of proper face to face meetings and I actually don’t find it too bad! It can be a bit awkward with the unexplained sudden silences, but it is much more convenient for someone as time-poor as me.

 

These are the things I have learnt and experienced for the first time during Covid-19, how has your life changed?

Staying Fit During Covid-19

Hi All,

Thought I would like to share my personal first experience of trying to do some workout at home!! While I was quite disappointed that my gym was closed due to the pandemic, I understood that this was for not only my health, but the health of many others too. I have to admit, I was hoping the Covid-19 restrictions would only last a few weeks or so, but it looks like it will be much longer than that! So, I had no excuse to keep putting off the exercise, just because gym was closed.

So like most things, before I start anything new or out of the ordinary for me…I asked those around me what they were doing. How many days did they work out in a week? When did they do it? Who did they do it with? What equipment did they use? It was interesting and innovative the answers that I received. From using your bed, to handbags, and hand sanitisers as weights.

So off I went yesterday. After finishing work, I changed into my sports gear as if I were about to head to the gym or badminton. Grabbed a towel from the bathroom, spread it on the bed room floor, got my laptop and placed it in an easy to see location. Typed in google and brought up Blogpilates (who I know is an online Yoga instructor from some other Youtubers) and clicked on a 14 minute yoga stretch video. I don’t want to get into the hardcore stuff yet, I am unfit and tight from not exercising properly! It was important that I put the phone away, made sure my door was closed, and didn’t stop the video. I have to admit it was a bit hard trying to keep my eyes on the screen while doing some weird position and difficult trying to copy what she was doing. But, at the end of it, I felt a lot better! I needed to do some core work outs too, so I looked up “5 minute work outs” on Youtube and got this video of a man doing 10 different exercises over 5 minutes with no break! There was planks, pushups, and other difficult stuff, but after that I was puffed out, hot, and a bit tired. It was a good work out, I think. Was tired this morning, but I had a good sleep.

I think it is really important to keep exercising amidst this time, as it is not only good for our health but also for our mental well being and SLEEP! My sleep has been so bad lately, probably because I am not using up all my excess energy before I sleep :(. I am going to aim to do exercises at home 3-4 times a week and continue my daily walks during lunch breaks. I hope you can find some time to schedule in some exercise in your schedule too!

Take care and stay safe.

PS: I gave into FOMO and bought an expensive yoga mat from Ebay.. xD Hopefully it arrives before the gym reopens!!

JL

Positive Points of the Pandemic

How are you guys? I hope you are doing well? Wherever in the world, you may be at the moment. I was really surprised after posting the previous post about things to do in the Pandemic at home…I had a 4000% increase in viewers of my website o.O!? And the majority of them were from America!! That’s amazing that this humble little blog from a small city in Australia has been visited by so many International guests from around the world. Anyways, I understand now is a time where it can be hard to remember to be grateful for the small things that we still have. I am not trying to say that I am glad this pandemic happened, but I want to point out the things we have learnt and the unusual positive consequences that have arisen from it. If I don’t laugh in the face of adversity, I will cry…so why not laugh?

 

  • I have never seen petrol prices so low as it is now!! In my 29 years of life,…I have neverrr seen it so low! the lowest I have seen it around is 80 cents per litre! That’s supppper cheap… The average cost is usually around $1.30 per litre for Unleaded 91 petrol.
  • I have saved money on petrol not only because it is cheap, but also due to the social distancing restrictions, I have literally nowhere to go after work -except back home! No more driving to badminton or to the gym…or to visit my sister..or shopping etc. So one tank of fuel lasts for a loonnnggg time. Due to people using less petrol for their cars and fewer flights, I guess that’s good for the environment…!
  • I have saved money because I can’t fly anywhere…so even though I have the travel bug, there is a reason why I shouldn’t/can’t fly at the moment. I am super grateful I was still able to go on my trip and come back safely from New Zealand before all the travel restrictions and quarantine rules kicked in Australia. Super super grateful!
  • I have a legit excuse to skip the gym after work … xD I am usually pretty hard on myself and force myself to go, whether I feel like it or not! But, now with the gym closed, I am forced instead to take walks during lunch or after work and enjoy nature. I am finding out all sorts of cute and quirky things in my neighbourhood.
  • As a pharmacist, I always felt like our profession was always undervalued,
    forgotten, and underutilised. Through this pandemic, there have been so many changes to the rules that have allowed pharmacists more authority than ever before to exercise their clinical expertise more than any other time before. It is also highly recognised that pharmacists who are administering influenza vaccines to the public are helping to decrease the burden on the already overflowing GP clinics. We have also been given the (temporarily) authority to change strengths and forms of prescription items so that supply can be given to the patient without prior approval by the GP. Emergency supplies of medication to people who can’t get into their GP have also been approved in certain circumstances.

 

  • Random Strangers have been more friendly and strike up conversations. I remember when I first heard of the toilet paper shortage, I went to the grocery store and bought two small packs. The random stranger next to me asked me why was everyone buying toilet paper… I said, “I don’t know, but I am just going to buy some in case!”.

 

  •  I have never appreciated the supermarket workers as much as I do now and also never felt appreciated as much as now…With their friendly smiles and small talk, it is pleasant to make small talk with them. In particular, the supermarket near my hospital has been giving away free soup to the hospital, police, and emergency workers. I later went to purchase some items after work and told the checkout assistant that I loved the free soup I got today and she said she was extremely grateful for the hard work that we do. I said, “I appreciate you guys immensely too!”. Because I do, without those workers going in every day to fill the stock, we would have no food to eat! In addition, today, I called Medicare to ask about concession and safety net entitlement cards for a patient and the man I spoke to said, “Stay Safe!” at the end of the conversation…I know these are small things and they are from people I don’t know, it just feels nice to know that people do care about each other. I know these are really small things, but they really do…

 

  • Being grateful for a normal life. After this pandemic, I will always remember how good it will be to meet friends, to go to the gym, to play badminton… to attend concerts, do exams, fly overseas…All of these things that I have taken for granted for so many years… I will be super grateful to be able to do all those things again! #grateful

 

  • EVERYTHING IS SOOOO CLEANNNNNN! I love it. We’ve never been as aware of cleanliness till now. Maybe it is just me, (as you can see in my post about being a germaphobe), but I am glad there is hand sanitiser everywhere and supermarkets having gloves for us to use! I like the idea of having personal space of 1.5 metres between everyone…coz even before I hate hearing people breathe loudly near me or get into my special personal space …xD … My dad is guilty of not washing his hands after going to the toilet, thanks to this pandemic I have stressed the importance of washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and using soup! If you haven’t already seen it, you should the video on how to handwash -the proper way by WHO.

 

  • I’ll put the video link here:

 

Stay safe and wash your hands (properly)!!

2020

2020 is a big year. I can feel it already. The year I leave my 20s and enter the scary 30s. !!

It’s a year I want to knock off some things off my bucket list.

One of them being going to New Zealand. Always had planned to go…but because it seemed so close to home, it doesn’t feel like I am leaving the country. I am happy to say I have booked my flights to New Zealand and will be going on the 19th to 24th of March! Super excited…but also feeling a bit stressed…I haven’t found accommodation yet! I think when I finally get a place to stay I will feel more relieved… It’s hard to plan transport, tours, and etc without knowing where you will stay :(. I guess you can call me a homeless person while I am in NZ.

I have also managed to get VIP tickets to meet on of my favourite Jrock bands, ONE OK ROCK. SUPER excited. I have always wanted to see them live…When I was in Japan for exchange back in 2014, I wanted to see them in Japan….however they were touring in the US at that time..so I missed that opportunity. BUT they are coming to my hometown!!!!! So excited. I would have flown interstate to see them…but now no need…so might aswell splurge on VIP tickets which include a meet and greet <3, early entry, a special lanyard, and a wrist band. But most importantly, is that I get to meet them…and hopefully get a photo if I am lucky! None of my friends that are going got the VIP tickets…so hopefully I can make a friend there or find someone kind enough to help me take a photo.  I guess this would be a new addition to my bucket list.

Assuming all goes well in the jobs department, i.e. getting an extension of my current work contract or getting a new job within SA Health, I hope I can save up enough for a house/unit deposit. I am aiming for about 60-80k, which will be about the minimum 20% deposit I need for a house. Gotta keep working hard!

I have applied for the JET program..so this may affect my income levels aswell. But, no fear..doesn’t mean I can’t still be working overseas and saving for my house deposit. I haven’t heard anything back from them yet, so who knows if I will even pass the written part of the application? But at least I tried, right?

To be honest, I am not sure what else is on my latest bucket list…I think the same things that always matter will be there or not…stay fit and healthy… be present with family and enjoy time with my nephew …and be an awesome friend….travel more…finish my study…and get lots more experience in my career and keep working hard for long term goals…Oh yeah keep writing more in this blog..and other stuff which I have much neglected…

Do you have any goals or aims for 2020?

Out of my comfortzone

Today marks a new day where I joined a new gym. Long story short, the all-girls exclusive gym where I had half-price membership – closed down last month 😦 After being a member there so long.. I really really do miss it :(. Unfortunately they will be moving (next year) to a different location that is not close to me anymore. Due to being busy with life, I stopped gymming for a month and just increased the days I played badminton. So instead of once a week, I played about three times a week. I mean, badminton is good and all for stamina development and cardio.. but not so much gaining a more toned body.. which I much desire.

Anyways, this is a momentous occasion, because I’ve never joined a mixed ggm before… I do admit I feel intimidated seeing the guys (and some buff girls) pumping weights heavier than me. 😦

I kinda feel like I’ve been going to a private all girls school and to a public Co-Ed school. LOL. Well, on impulse I’ve joined up for 12 months (more lols coz i wanted to live overseas next year)- guess i ll worry about the consequences of that later.

I’ve been really put out of my comfortzone lately. Flying to Sydney for a wedding in which I only basically knew the person getting married. :/ Sitting on a table in which I knew absolutely noone. Brave? Maybe. I was scared shitless though. So many things. The wonders that travelling to another city makes you do. Syndey.. is not bad actually. Could i live there? Maybe. We’ll see. So many things to do. Yet, Where do I even start?

Hmmm new gym. New job. New haircut… new..??? New instrument to pick up??

That reminds me, I’ve been watching a Chinese Drama called “Untamed”… soo good. Highly recommended if you don’t mind handsome guys, pretty girls, and lotsa action and suspense.! They feature quite a few traditional Chinese instruments and it just looks so cool and I want to learn to play the flute LOL. I swear I used to have one or two of them.. but no idea where it went ;( .

Do you guys often get that sudden inspiration to learn something after watching a show, movie, or reading a book? What inspired you?